A grieving mum is petitioning Parliament in the hope no one else will lose a loved one in a road crash because a driver is chatting on their phone.
Alice Husband (42) suffered the heartbreak of losing her son, Seth Dixon (7), after he was hit by a car in December 2014.
An inquest in May this year heard driver Amy Asker was talking on her phone – which was on speakerphone in the driver’s side door pocket – as Seth crossed Station Road, Tydd Gote, to get home after posting a letter.
Coroner Paul Cooper said: “I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Ms Asker’s use of the mobile phone contributed to the cause of this child’s unfortunate death.”
Alice publicly forgave Amy Asker after the crash, but wants a law change to ban all mobile calls while driving because research shows drivers are distracted from driving and their reaction times are slowed.
Alice said: “It is important to acknowledge that the driver could be any one of many of us who have been told in the past hands free is okay. She was not speeding. It was a terrible accident.”
Alice’s campaign to stop drivers using mobiles is gaining momentum, with around 1,000 signing her petition to Parliament in the 24 hours to yesterday (Wednesday) lunchtime.
More than 7,0000 have signed so far. It takes 10,000 signatures to win a Government response and 100,000 for the petition to be considered for a parliamentary debate.
Teacher Alice wants an across-the-board phone ban for drivers, including hands-free, because evidence shows all calls are distracting.
“It needs to be shown that this is as unacceptable as drink driving,” said Alice. “Lives are too precious, Seth was too precious, saving life needs to be put before a phone call.”
There’s nothing that’s ever going to change it. It’s the hopelessness of it, it’s the finality of it all, and how much it impacts on everything you do and everything about your life.Alice Husband talks about losing Seth
Alice began her petition in June, soon after the inquest into Seth’s death.
She was interviewed by the BBC Radio 5 live and was due to appear on the Good Morning television show, but her campaign was knocked off the news agenda by international and national stories, first the Orlando nightclub attack and then Brexit.
Alice is still waiting for an interview with the BBC’s Inside Out to be aired.
The dangers of using mobile phones was back on the news agenda last week, with national newspapers taking up the story, which saw Alice’s own petition take off once more.
The petition gained a further major boost after Alice posted it on the Spalding Guardian’s Facebook page.
Alice says no one could ever understand the pain of losing a loved one like Seth unless they go through it themselves.
“It’s unlike most things in life,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s nothing that’s ever going to change it. It’s the hopelessness of it, it’s the finality of it all, and how much it impacts on everything you do and everything about your life.”
Seth Dixon was a happy little boy who earned the nickname Smiler at Tydd St Mary School and at the Forrest School Camps he loved to go on.
“He was so full of life,” said Alice. “He just seemed to enjoy life and really embrace life. He was outgoing and happy and everybody really warmed to his nature.”
Seth made friends in all years at his primary school and school-leavers would even pop back just to see how he was getting on.
Alice said: “He was called Smiler at school and at his last summer camp they nicknamed him Smiler.
“He loved music and he loved dancing.”
Seth’s dancing prowess earned him a prize at a school disco.
He was the youngest of three brothers.
• To sign for Seth, visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/132875